The US had said earlier this week that it will share coronavirus vaccines with other countries if it ends up with a surplus
The White House said its priority is to inoculate American public
The US has not imposed any rules to prohibit the export of the Covid-19 vaccine, the White House clarified on Thursday. The statement came after reports of the European Union being told to not 'expect the vaccine anytime soon' started floating around.
"We don't purchase AstraZeneca supplies. So there's no export prohibitions and all vaccine manufacturers in the United States are free to export their products while also fulfilling the terms of their contracts with the US government," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.
Psaki said that the vaccine makers can work with other countries while meeting the demands of the US.
"We have conveyed privately what we've conveyed publicly which is our focus is on ensuring the American people are receiving the vaccine and that we are vaccinating the American public," she said.
"That's our first priority. But we are also engaging with and working with the global community to figure out how we can get the global pandemic under control together. Whether that's through financial contributions or through you know, navigating with them how we can work together to address it. But we'll continue to evaluate as more vaccines become available in the United States. AstraZeneca isn't even approved at this point," Psaki said.
She said any company can work with any country around the world on the purchase of vaccine supply. "And certainly, that wouldn't be something the US government would be directly engaged with. But in terms of the supply, we have purchased our first focus, our primary focus is on vaccinating the American people. That is what we've conveyed publicly and privately as well," Psaki said.
The US had said earlier this week that it will share coronavirus vaccines with other countries if it ends up with a surplus.
"If we have a surplus, we are going to share with the rest of the world," President Joe Biden said noting the US has already committed $4 billion to Covax, the United Nations program for distributing the vaccine across the world.
"This is not something that can be stopped by a fence, no matter how high you build a fence or a wall... So we're not going to be ultimately safe until the world is safe. We're going to start off making sure Americans are taken care of first, but we're then going to try to help the rest of the world," he added.
With inputs from agencies.
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